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30 Summer Bucket List Ideas to Share with Your Family

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What are some fun ideas to add to my summer bucket list?

Oh, it is finally summer! Kids are out of school and the days are longer.

It may only be two weeks before your kiddo declares they are BORED. The most dreaded words of any summer break. The best way to kick the boredom blues is by starting a summer bucket list. You can add things you do every summer and some things you and your kiddos have always wanted to try.

If you’re not sure where to start, grab a copy of our summer bucket list to get some great ideas.

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What should I do in the summer?

Summer is the most relaxing time of year, so you should add things to your summer bucket list that are going to relax you and bring you joy. It’s also a great time of year to try new things.

The sun is shining, so be sure to spend some time outside. Spend time in nature or your local park. Spend time in or near water. And enjoy all the great flavors of the season: barbeques, fruits, and ice cream.

Spend some extra time with your kiddo to make summer more special and enjoyable. And start crossing things off your summer bucket list today!



What should I put on my summer bucket list?

Summer Bucket List: Outdoor Ideas

kids swimming in tubes wearing sunglasses
Photo by Juan Salamanca

1. Visit a lake

Water is a great place to spend some time in the summer. Whether you rent a boat or just sit by the water, visit a lake, relax and find some peace. Take a picnic lunch and bring along your fur babies.

2. Go mini golfing

A fun activity for your summer bucket list is a round (or two) of mini golf. It’s something the whole family can enjoy. And it may be something you don’t normally think of doing.

3. Visit a zoo

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is going to our local zoo. It’s a great way to teach your kids about animals and conservation. And if your zoo is anything like the one here, you get a good amount of walking in as well.

4. Go hiking

My version of hiking is actually just taking a walk in nature. Whether that sounds like you or you actually load up a pack and grab a walking stick, spend some time outside in the woods. Hike your favorite trail or find a new destination to keep your kiddos interested year after year.

5. Go swimming

Don’t let all that summer sunshine go to waste. Be sure to get out to your local pool or a beach and spend some time swimming. Get the kiddos ready early in the year by giving swimsuits, towels, or beach toys as a gift in their Easter basket.

6. Ride bikes

It’s time to dust off those bicycle seats and oil those chains. Get out for a family bike ride at least once this summer. Bike to your local park or head out to a trail for some all-day fun.

7. Have a water balloon battle

This summer bucket list idea is great for those super-hot days. And can be extra fun if you don’t tell your kiddos ahead of time. Just surprise them with a bucket of balloons. Or go all out and create your own backyard slip and slide. For little ones, use a sprinkler pad so they can join in on the fun without getting roughed up. (And always keep a close eye on those little ones around any pool of water.)

8. Chase a rainbow

Here’s a fun one, especially for younger ones. After a rainstorm, pile everyone in the car in search of a rainbow. Once you find it, see if you can find the end of it. While this may seem like an impossible task, it’s a fun way to share some family time together. And it doesn’t hurt if you end up somewhere with a sweet treat: maybe out for ice cream or a special movie night at home.

9. Visit an amusement park

Each summer my family would spend a day at our local amusement park, and it was something I looked forward to each year. So, add this to you summer bucket list. Whether it’s someplace local that you visit often, a park in the next state over, or a big trip like Disney or Universal, time at an amusement park is something your kids will look back on fondly.

Summer Bucket List: Nighttime Ideas

tent in the woods at nighttime
Photo by Josh Hild

10. Catch fireflies

This is a summertime rite of passage for kids. This year, instead of watching your kiddos have all the fun, get out there with them!

11. Camp out

Whether you go on a camping weekend or set up a tent in your own backyard, summer is a great time for sleeping outside under the stars. It’s also a new experience for little kids no matter where you go, so make this summer bucket list idea easy on yourself!

12. Build a bonfire

This is a good early summer or late summer idea, when those nights are just a little chillier. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows and tell fun, spooky stories.

13. Go to a drive-in movie

This one might be a little harder if you no longer have a drive-in movie theater nearby. However, this is a summer bucket list, so you’re crossing off things you may have never done before. You could plan a movie-themed weekend and head off in search of a drive-in theater.

14. Watch a sunset

This is a super simple item to cross off your summer bucket list. But don’t forget to make it fun. Maybe plan an evening outdoors, with a bonfire and s’mores, then watch the sun go down. Or plan to sleep outside some evening and start your adventure as the sun sets.

summer bucket list: child playing mini golf

15. Stargaze

And since you’re already outside watching the setting sun, why not make a game of who can find the first star. Stay out a little longer and check out what is going on in the night sky in the summer. Grab a book on summer constellations to give your kiddos a quick lesson about the summer sky.

16. Stay up late

Summer is the time of year to be reminded what it’s like to be a kid. So, spend a night staying up late with your kiddo. Watch movies and camp out on the floor.

17. Sleep in

And if you’re spending a night staying up late, you may as well sleep in the next day. Take the next day off and relax a little. No schedules, no playdates, appointments; just time together.

Summer Bucket List: Summer Food Ideas

girl eating a watermelon
Photo by Jill Wellington

18. Cook out

It’s the season for eating outdoors. So, add a cookout to your summer bucket list. Whether it’s for a holiday weekend and you have a large get-together or it’s just an evening with your own family, enjoy some hot dogs and hamburgers cooked on your grill.

19. Enjoy some corn on the cob

While you’ve got the grill fired up, cook some corn on the cob. It’s a summer favorite and it might be something your kiddos have yet to try.

20. Eat watermelon

Summer is the time for foods you can eat outside. Get a watermelon, cut it up, and spit some seeds from your porch. Or enjoy it during your summer cookout.

21. Savor some ice cream

Summer is the time for cool treats, so be sure to get some ice cream this summer. And enjoy it! Just the way your kids do. Take at least one day this summer to enjoy some ice cream without any regrets.

Summer Bucket List: Holiday Ideas

Photo by

22. Watch fireworks on July 4th

There’s not many places (outside of Disney World) that you can catch a good fireworks show. So, don’t let summer pass you by without viewing some festive 4th of July fireworks. And check out all the other things you should be doing this 4th of July.

Summer Bucket List: Creative Ideas

23. Read

Summer is my favorite time of year to catch up on my reading pile. It’s a great way to keep your kids minds active while they’re not in school. You could even start a family book club, where you choose a book to read and discuss it once you’re done. And let your kiddo choose which books to read. It’s the best way to show them how much fun reading can be, when it’s not all about school.

Related: Best Summer Books for Toddlers

24. Take photos

Plan family photo shoots, take candid shots, take photos of all the places and things you’ve seen this summer, and get your kiddos in on the fun. Give them the camera and see what they can capture. You may have a budding artist in your family. Even little ones can get in on the fun with a sturdy camera made for little hands. It will be fun for all to see the different perspectives of each person.

25. Do science experiments

Summer vacation doesn’t mean your kiddos need to stop learning. Instead, head outside for some fun (messy) science experiments. Check out Awesome Science Experiments for Kids for fun things to try with your grade-schooler or grab a Science Kit for experiments with even younger kids.

26. Plan a scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt can be a fun thing for any kind of weather in any location. On a rainy day, it’s a great indoor activity. Have clues that lead all over your home. On a sunny day, get outside to find things in nature. Have a photo scavenger hunt around your neighborhood, where your kiddo takes pictures of people or architecture. And on trips to the zoo, amusement park, or your next vacation spot, give them some educational clues or a questionnaire for people who work there.

27. Make crafts

Another great activity for your summer bucket list is making crafts. Take it outdoors for messy craft fun. You won’t have to worry about paint or glue all over your floors. Paint some rocks or build sun catchers out of things you find in nature.

Summer Bucket List: Memory Making Ideas

28. Take a vacation

Summer is the time of vacations. The weather is perfect, the kids are out of school, now is the time to go! If you’ve kept a winter bucket list or spring bucket list, you’ve been planning this vacation for quite a while, so you should know just where you’re going and be ready to head out. And you can use our vacation budget template to keep track of all those expenses while you’re away.

29. Have a family reunion

As a kid, we always had a summer family reunion, with great-aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, the works! This is a fun way to get everyone together and get your kiddos to know their family. Of course, it does take some planning, but it’s a wonderful way to make some incredible memories over the years.

30. Practice self-care

There’s no better time to start practicing self-care than right now! So be sure to add summer self-care to your summer bucket list. It’s so important that you take a little time each day for yourself to recharge. And it’s just as important to show your kiddos how they should be taking care of themselves.


There you have it: the 30 summer bucket list ideas to enjoy as a family. Outdoor activities, food ideas, holiday activities, creative ideas, and memory making ideas are all included in this summer bucket list.

Have fun and make memories! And don’t forget to get your copy of our summer bucket list, so you can start crossing things off right now.

Related Articles for Summer Bucket List:

summer bucket list: tent between two trees at nighttime

30 Summer Bucket List Ideas to Share with Your Family

4 thoughts on “30 Summer Bucket List Ideas to Share with Your Family”

  1. Certainly can’t complain that there is nothing to do with a list like this! There are a lot of good activities to keep people busy.

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